Release date: March 13th
Civil War Rust are a band straight-out of the infamous music factory that’s the East Bay Area in Northern California. Made up of Rudy, Sean Ryan and Drew, they play punk and so far have released two E.P’s: Right to Remain Silent was the first and was recorded in March 2010, The Good Book was released less than a year later, in February 2011. The first EP, as many do, laid down an introduction to what the band’s sound was going to be like and was going to grow from. From this EP, influences such as American Steel, Pinhead Gunpowder and Dead To Me most notably were the ones who were mentioned by a majority of critics and fans alike. The second EP followed in almost the same vein although it does have a more grown-into feel, much like when you buy a new pair of shoes and they take a while to feel comfortable and to be worn in. Although the second EP didn’t have any of the annoying squeaks that those types of shoes can sometimes have. The EP was a statement, a statement that Civil War Rust weren’t a band who’d rely on a decent first EP to get by; it showed them as a band ready to take their sound to the next level. It also resulted them playing with the likes of The Flatliners, Pennywise, Guttermouth and Star Fucking Hipsters – moves which would obviously only further the band’s moulding as a fast up-and-coming one. Seeing as the band have only been together not even three years yet, you can understand why a lot of people are getting excited about them and why they’ve been signed by All For Hope Records. The EP is available here.
And take their sound to the next level they did, with this album which has been released today. It was recorded by Willie Samuels who’s worked with the likes of Green Day and Samiam, along with the help of Ken Lee (No Use For A Name, Black Cat Music and more). The band also managed to get the infamous Tyler Gibson to come up with the artwork, and a good job they did as well. The artwork’s great, as you can see at the top of this review.
The album just makes you want to sling off any inhibitions, grab a load of friends and go to the seediest bar possible and drink until you can’t drink anymore. The blend of punk the band play is so fun and catchy that it’s impossible not to get involved in the music. Alongside the melodic, fast guitars, the drums get a rhythm started on every track – glueing and hammering the sound together – while the vocals are traditionally punk, in the sense that they’re rough and maintain a tongue-in-cheek lack of respect yet hold an encompassing feel of fun.
Mayday has soaring, twisting guitar lines that feel light and breezy yet when you listen deeper, you realise this isn’t the case at all – the lyrics are quite angry and disordered – leaving the track with an indelible mark of intrigue. The solo that explodes behind the wall of the fast riffs and well-structured, measured drumming kicks a few bricks loose which scatter and dent the floor holding up the wall of noise, leaving a layered, rewarding listen that shows Civil War Rust know exactly what they were doing with this track.
Seven Down is a perfect example of the point I made earlier about the feel the album has of getting absolutely shitfaced. The lyrics of ‘another night I’m staying up till 6 / and drinking / wishing I was in someone else’s town’ justifies that point. The visual imagery those lyrics conjure up can be related to by a lot of people, and not just punk fans who like a drink. The song has a sense of fun attached to it, yet there’s a detached feel of loss and regret which makes it great track with different connotations.
Hymns Of The Canary opens up with the line of ‘any secret worth keeping / is definitely worth repeating / when the time is right’ and a fairly straightforward riff follows which opens up the track. The riff then dissolves into a dark, abrasive sound which again, uses the juxtaposition of the band’s feel-good sense with a rebellious tinge. The line of ‘I feel so far from home’ will ring in your head long after the track’s finished.
This is a good debut album from a band who’re quickly making a name for themselves. Grab a beer, turn the volume up and do whatever the fuck you want to do. If they can keep this up then punk fans everywhere will soon be catching on to this band, who know how to have fun but be serious about it all the same.